Music downloaders, currently operating in major Nigerian markets, are denying top music stars of millions of naira in terms of royalties.
Investigations conducted by P.M.NEWSEntertainment Café revealed that the downloaders operating in locations like the Computer Village, Ikeja, Alaba International Market, Lagos Island, Mushin, Oshodi and other parts of Lagos State are making a mint downloading songs of popular music stars into flash drives, mobile telephone memory cards and other recording devices for commercial purpose.
P.M.NEWSEntertainment Café gathered that the memory cards being used are between two to 500 gigabytes. The former can take up to 350 songs.
A sum of N20 per song is charged depending on the popularity of the artiste. Some of the downloaders told this medium that the most popular songs being downloaded are those of P-Square, Davido, Timaya, Iyanya and Tuface.
Traditional music genres are also in hot demand, as songs of King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Orlando Owoh and Haruna Ishola. Downloaders pay a sum of N6,000 to acquire the software, called music file, with which they do their trade.
A downloader, who identified himself as Kehinde, told this medium that a music file can last for more than one year if it is well handled.
He said apart from audio, videos of songs are also being downloaded at between N50 to N100 depending on the popularity and time of release.
Intellectual property lawyer, Akeem Aponmade, described the downloads as illegal, adding that anybody found guilty of the offence may bag a maximum of five years in prison.